Shoplifting seems like a crime done by kleptomaniacs, dysfunctional movie stars or teenagers. Well, there is a huge contingent of professional shoplifters working stores somewhere in the world,as you read this blog. In criminal lingo, a shoplifter is known as a “Booster.” Mostly, they are drug addicts trying to feed their habit. Most work in pairs or larger teams. I remember seeing a report from Metro North Mall back in the 1990s. The clerk stated 4-6 individuals entered the Macy’s store and as they spread out, store security became alerted. The clerk and security officer reported they all were speaking a foreign language and appeared to be Europeans from their dress. One was spotted concealing a armful of cashmere sweaters inside a large purse. As the security person followed the “booster” out into the mall, another one of this group bumped into the officer and pushed him and distracted him while the woman with the sweaters ran out the mall. The security guard ran into the parking lot and obtained a license number off a car leaving at a high rate of speed. A check of this license number revealed an Hispanic name and a Los Angeles name address. We checked with LAPD and learned this name and address was associated with a large group of professional boosters who were all from Argentina, South America.
In Kansas City during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, we had several retail outlets owned by Mob associates. They were supplied by the area’s professional boosters. In at least one case, James Harvey Bradley, known as “Junior,” paid his boosters stolen narcotic pills for the boosted items. He had a retail outlet at the City Market and sold some items out of his restaurant known as the Pumpernik Deli, 11th and Walnut. This podcast is a broad overview of the Mob and the fencing of stolen goods. I have sent out several Freedom of Information Act requests for individuals arrested for being involved with Junior Bradley as well as record album boosters who sold to Tiger Cardarella. In 2016, Aaron and I will go into the cases in great detail.
Aaron Gnirk and I would like to thank our listeners for this freshman season of Gangland Wire Crime Stories. This is the last podcast of our first season. I have several others in the hopper. I think you will like to hear the inside scoop on how the mob made money from fencing and narcotics. I am also working on the Bob Berdella serial killer case, the unsolved $400,000.00 theft of art objects from the Truman Library and the plot to kidnap Muriel Kaufman.